Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Psychiatrists underestimate antidepressant side effects

People suffering from depression may have far more side effects than psychiatrists think they do. Mark Zimmerman from Rhode Island Hospital asked 300 people being treated for depression to fill out the Toronto Side Effects Scale. The patients rated the frequency of 31 side effects and the degree of trouble they experienced and this was compared to what the psychiatrists had documented. The average number of side effects recorded by the patients using the questionnaire was 20 times higher than the number recorded by the psychiatrists. Even when limiting the side effects to those which were 'frequently occuring' or 'very bothersome' the rate was still found to be two or three times higher than that recorded by the psychiatrists. The results are important as side effects are one of the most frequent reasons patients stop taking their medication.

You can find out more about this research at


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